First Steps

Students walking on steps at Wells Library

What are the degree requirements that I must meet to graduate?

Each school at IUB defines its own unique degree requirements and uses different terminology to describe them. However, all degree programs require three basic kinds of coursework. A well-balanced semester will typically include courses from all three categories below: 

IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground: In Step 3, you learned about campus-wide IUB General Education requirements that are the same for any undergraduate major or program.

Major Requirements: Courses that help you explore, in depth, the subject you decide is the best one for you to focus on throughout your time at IUB.

School-specific General Education Requirements: It’s important to understand that the particular major you choose may have additional general education requirements defined by that school - courses that provide the breadth and diversity of subject matter that are the foundation of a liberal arts education.

You may select additional courses of interest to meet your educational goals and to earn the remaining credit hours needed to fulfill degree requirements. These courses are sometimes referred to as electives. Note that some majors may need few electives or none at all. (The “Additional Course Options” discussed in Step #3 offers lists of courses likely to count for elective credit.)

In addition to categories of coursework, credit hours help you to estimate how much work a class will require so that you can manage your time more effectively. While IUB courses can vary from one to five credit hours, most typically carry three credit hours.

Keeping track of your Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) after your first semester will help you to understand the progress you are making toward your degree.

To summarize, in order to earn a bachelor’s degree from any of the schools at IUB, you will need to complete the following basic components:

  • IU Bloomington General Education Common Ground requirements
  • Coursework that satisfies specific major requirements, sometimes including additional school-specific general education requirements, and elective requirements
  • a minimum number of credit hours
  • a minimum GPA

Your University Division advisor will help you understand these and other important features of the academic landscape at IUB.  Please don’t hesitate to ask questions as they come up!